Robin McKinley (1952- )

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Robin McKinley's full name is Jennifer Robin Carolyn McKinley, and she was born November 16, 1952 in her mother's hometown of Warren, Ohio. Because her father was in the Navy, she travelled throughout the world while she was growing up. Her passion for reading was one of the most constant things in her childhood, so she began to remember events, places, and time periods by what books she read where. For example, she read Andrew Lang's Blue Fairy Book for the first time in California; The Chronicles of Narnia for the first time in New York; The Lord of the Rings for the first time in Japan; The Once and Future King for the first time in Maine. She still uses books to keep track of her life. Robin McKinley attended Gould Academy, a preparatory school in Bethel, Maine, and Dickinson College in 1970-1972. In 1975, she was graduated summa cum laude from Bowdoin College. In 1978, her first novel, Beauty was accepted by the first publisher she sent it to, and she began her writing career, at age 26. At the time she was living in Brunswick Maine. Since then she has lived on a horse farm in Eastern Massachusetts, and now in Hampshire, England, with her husband Peter Dickinson (also a writer) and three whippets. Over the years she has worked as an editor and transcriber (1972-73), research assistant (1976-77), bookstore clerk (1978), teacher and counselor (1978-79), editorial assistant (1979-81), barn manager (1981-82), free-lance editor (1982-85), and full-time writer. Other than books she counts as her major preoccupations grand opera and long walks, both of which she claims keep the blood flowing and the imagination limber.


Spindle’s End
Rose Daughter
The Blue Sword
The Hero and the Crown
The Outlaws of Sherwood
A Knot in the Grain
The Door in the Hedge


Robin McKinley Website